Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef: a reef made of wool to look like natural coral

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is an exhibition showing at the Southbank Centre in London from 11 June 2008 - 17 August 2008. I just read about it in an article in The Times, with the intriguing title, Can knitting save the Great Barrier Reef? It turns out the title isn't quite correct since the craft involved is crochet not knitting but it did get my attention so after reading the article I googled the subject and found out more about the Institute For Figuring which is summed up thus: The Institute For Figuring is an educational organization dedicated to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques. From the physics of snowflakes and the hyperbolic geometry of sea slugs, to the mathematics of paper folding and graphical models of the human mind, the Institute takes as its purview a complex ecology of figuring. Then I read more and found out that 2008 is the INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE REEF This designation, by the International Coral Reef Initiative, has been made in the hope of raising awareness about the plight of reefs around the world. According to a recent scientific meta-study, coral reefs are now disappearing at a rate five times faster than rainforests. If current trends continue there will be no reefs left by the end of this century. About the Crochet Coral Reef The Institute For Figuring is crocheting a coral reef: a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world. A Gallery of the Crocheted Hyperbolic Reef I can knit but I don't know how to crochet (I wish I did) and I must say that I'm in awe of these beautiful creations! If you want to get involved, they invite crocheters everywhere to contribute models to the reef. I really admire the two women, IFF co-directors Margaret and Christine Wertheim - who grew up in Queensland - who have started this project to crochet a woolen reef. What a fantastic idea and such an inspired way to raise awareness of the threat to coral reefs around the world! International Year of the Reef 2008

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